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Vaughtâ€™s note: Kentucky basketball fan Courtney Deuser is active on Twitter and admits she lives â€œUK sports by night.â€ She also writes for nationofblue.com and has been at Rupp Arena numerous times covering games this season. She shares her perspective today again with vaughtsviews.com. This time it is on the play of sophomore Terrence Jones, the preseason Southeastern Conference player of the year.
By COURTNEY DEUSER
Earlier this season I wrote a profile on Terrence Jones, our BBN preseason MVP. Coming into the season, he looked like a different man on a mission that would be unstoppable. It was inevitable that Jones would represent the University of Kentucky in the national player of the year race right?
To add insult to injury, Jones dislocated his left pinky in the UT-Chattanooga game on Dec. 17th and then sat out the next couple of matches before returning against Lamar and pitching in 9 points and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes of play. This was a far cry from his 52 point, 16 rebound, 6 assist Blue and White Game. Big Blue fans were beginning to question what happened to the heralded Terrence Jones we saw early in the season? Wildcat faithful werenâ€™t asking for a performance like the Blue/White Game in every matchup, but what they were asking for was a happy medium.
If there is one thing Iâ€™ve worked on over the last several years is my objectivity in sports and ability to see both ends of the spectrum (well, as much objectivity as one Kentucky Wildcat fan can have anyway).Â While I feel it would be easy for me to join the fans that seem to endlessly pick on Jones and his inability to be the player we all know he can be; I have decided to find the positives in his game and play to his strengths.
One thing that has always been an issue with Terrence Jones has been his attitude, in which most of it, I believe, can be attributed to immaturity. I still see many people harp on his demeanor but I ask, since Jones has made his return, have you seen a bad attitude? No.
Terrence Jones appears to have made the conscious decision to give 100 percent on the court, regardless if his game is off and the shots arenâ€™t falling. Heâ€™s even made the statement before that he is going to go out, get rebounds and make the hustle plays.
In the last six games, Jones has scored 10 points or more, and pulled in at least five rebounds (minus the South Carolina contest). Weâ€™ve seen him make a miraculous dive at Auburn to save the ball in and give the Cats another possession. We saw him get five blocks against a decent Arkansas Razorback squad and four versus a tough Alabama team. These are not statistics of a person who has given up; these are statistics of perseverance and hustle.
Jones is not perfect, and I would venture to say most people who are reading this article right now would not consider themselves perfect either. Mistakes happen in your job, school, and life â€¦. because we are human. It is our ability to push through and endure different obstacles that can help to create our legacy.
Terrence Jones may have been through some ups and downs this season, but he is proving to us that he has not given up, and he is trying his best to make sure his legacy will be one to be remembered.
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Check back tonight to see what Draftexpress.com analyst Matt Kamalsky offers about Jones’ NBA draft stock at this point of the season.